Not the time to move goalposts
PREMIER Gladys Berejiklian must have choked on her cornflakes.
After the pain and suffering the Coalition endured over its stadiums plans in the March state election, the premier is presented with a plan to ditch the ANZ upgrade.
Instead of spending $800 million on the redevelopment, it is proposed the government instead spend the money on building three new suburban stadiums.
That a premier on a twoseat majority scotched the plan is hardly surprising. To do otherwise would have been political suicide.
Voters went to the election knowing the Coalition would be redeveloping ANZ Stadium.
Now is not the time to be moving the goalposts — especially when political leaders across the country are about to declare a national emergency on drought. And also after having dropped an abortion bill onto voters.
It is a view many in the ministry hold.
This is not to say the suburban grounds should be left to rot.
Rugby league fans have shown they prefer going to their local grounds rather than heading out to a big stadium. This was demonstrated with Eels fans flocking to Bankwest Stadium.
Meanwhile, ANZ has to cater for everything from rock concerts to the Edinburgh Tattoo.
Many in rugby league are also nonplussed at the Allianz rebuild, which is less than what they had been expecting, with plans for a Bankwest-style stadium scrapped in favour of a revised version of what was there. That said, the upgrade of the Moore Park venue is underway.
The commonsense approach would be to proceed with ANZ, while drafting plans for the suburban upgrades.
And finally, putting the plan to the public.